As a public defender, Caitlin McLoughlin dreams of someday locking the bad guys in prison instead of defending them. But prosecuting jobs are scarce, and Caitlin’s future seems bleak. When her current client is about to walk away from a brutal crime, she risks her career to make sure he doesn’t hurt anyone else. But how far is she is willing to go— especially when she needs her job so she can continue caring for her mentally disabled sister? Then Caitlin meets Parker Hathaway, charged with kidnapping a four- year- old child. Just another criminal, just another job, Caitlin thinks. But when she learns the real story, she realizes that she must put everything on the line to defend her client and save the little girl before it’s too late. Saving Madeline is the story of a man determined to protect a child he loves, and the woman who dared to trust him.
I read an advanced review pdf copy of this book. I was in the middle of a class called, "Legal and Ethical Practices". I found that to be an interesting dichotomy as I read this book because some of the things Caitlin does are really not wise and she, along with the reader, question the ethics of her choices.
We are introduced to her first dilemma early on in the first chapter. The decision Caitlin makes here sets the scene for what comes after. It also caused me to stop and think about whether I agreed with her actions or not. In theory but perhaps not in practice. But then again...
Questions like this were running rampant in my mind throughout the book. I was being exposed to them both in the classroom and in this book. Just because something is the law, does that make it right or fair?
And if you know that someone did something unethical in order to make the right outcome happen, what would you do about it? And for Caitlin, the question becomes just who is it that knows? Or does someone know? And what does that mean now? for her career? for her personal life?
And faced with the same circumstance and decision, what would you do?
I was a foreman on a jury once. Every single one of us jury members knew the defendant was guilty. But we didn't have enough evidence to find him guilty. We wanted to. We could if we wanted to. We were the jury after all and we had that power. All we had to do was agree that the evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty. Then I could mark the paper with an "X" next to the guilty box and hand it to the baliff and wait for the judge to read it in court.
But we all knew that the evidence did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty. There just was not enough and he was going to go free. Again. And probably do it again. But the next time he could hurt or even kill someone. So we did the only thing we could do in this circumstance. I marked the "X" next to Not Guilty, we all signed the paper, I handed it back to the baliff and we went home knowing that we did the right thing and hating it.
But we were also left with the question- "Is it ever ok to do what is fair, even if it is not right?" I have always been glad that my name is not Solomon.
As for Caitlin? I am not sure she did what was right. In any of her choices with her clients in this novel. What they desered, yes, but what was right? You be the judge.
My verdict on Saving Madeline? Read it, then make your own case for or against her actions.
Everyone that comments on this post will be entered in a drawing for a copy of this book.
You can read sample chapters at Rachel Nunes' site
Where to buy and general info:
Shadow Mountain Softcover Tradeback $17.95
Romance, 321 pages.
First printing in September 2009
Book also includes a discussion guide.